The Authorship Question
The Catholic Question
Cast of Characters
The Author's Mind
Edmund Campion
Edmund Campion as Shakespeare
The Works
Coincidence or Clue
The Devil's Advocate
Notes and References
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There is a longstanding and growing conviction in many quarters worldwide that the works of Shakespeare can not be attributed to one William Shakspere (1564-1616), businessman and theatre entrepreneur from Stratford-upon-Avon. This conviction rests upon a perceived misfit between the known biographical details of Shakspere and the nature and content of the literary works historically attributed to him. The arguments for other candidates usually cite the following problems with William from Stratford- his name was spelt differently, he did not have the necessary education, knowledge and experience to write what is generally regarded as the greatest body of literary work in the English language, and there are no personal records or papers which link his name to these works. His reputation in Stratford was as a businessman not a playwright or poet.

Those who accept the traditional line that the works of Shakespeare were written by the historical figure, William from Stratford, son of John and Mary, are known as Stratfordians. The heretics who question this claim are the Anti-Stratfordians. Over the years the latter have attributed the works to various individuals or groups of individuals including earls and courtiers of Queen Elizabeth I, contemporary writers successful in their own right such as Bacon or Marlowe, and some have even gone as far as to nominate the Queen herself as the author. In recent times the case for Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford seems to have gained the ascendancy with his adherents, the Oxfordians, having been very prolific supporters on paper and on the Web.

As far as I am aware, I am the first and only Campionist in regard to the authorship of Shakespeare although Campion has never been short of admirers. Many years ago at the University of Oxford there existed a group of students in the 1550’s and 1560’s who “ crowded to his lectures, imitated his habits of speech, his mannerisms and his clothes and were proud to style themselves ‘Campionists’.[1]. He was acknowledged as “ the idol of Oxford, ....followed and imitated as no man ever was in an English University except himself and Newman.. He was so greatly admired for his grace of eloquence that young men imitated not only his phrases but his gait, and revered him as a second Cicero”. [2].

In line with the conventions of the authorship debate William of Stratford will be referred to in my theory as Shakspere and the great author will be written as Shakespeare.



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